From the desk of Darlynn Morgan, Newport Beach Estate Planning Attorney

I am often asked by clients and friends of our firm “where is the best place to keep my estate planning documents?”

It may sound like a silly question, but where you keep your Newport Beach estate planning documents is a critically important decision in ensuring your original copies are not lost, damaged or forgotten about through the years.

My top recommendation on where to keep your Newport Beach estate planning documents is a safe deposit box.  With a safe deposit box, you can rest easy knowing your documents are in a centralized location and protected from theft, fire, damage or accidental loss.

However, if you do choose to store your Newport Beach estate planning documents in a safe deposit box, be sure to let your family know that you a) have a safe deposit box, b) where it is and c) how to access it if something happens to you.  It may also be a good idea to put a joint holder on the box to ensure your family can open it in your absence.

You can also store your documents in a home safe that is waterproof and fireproof.  Yet I’m leery of this approach simply because in most cases of home robbery, thieves will take the entire safe out of the home and root through it later for jewelry and money.  So if your safe is not secured or bolted to the floor, this may not be the best option for your documents either.

Finally, you can store your documents at the office of your Newport Beach estate planning attorney, but again, be sure to let your family members know they are there if something happens to you!

And as always, remember to physically pull your documents out of the safe deposit box (or wherever you hide them!) every few years to make sure they are up to date.   An outdated will is just as bad, if not worse than one ravaged by fire or flood!

If it’s been a few years since your Newport Beach estate planning documents have been reviewed and updated, don’t just put your head in the sand and do nothing. Simply mention this article and come in for a free Family Wealth Planning Session ($750 value) and get your documents checked out before tucking them away in the drawer again. Simply call 949-260-1400 to book your appointment (limited to 10 per month).